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Understanding how proteins are kept under control

  • Researcher: Dr Daniel Panne
  • Institution: European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL-GR), Grenoble, France
  • Award Amount: £153,348 for 3 years from 1st January 2016
  • Cancer Type: General Cancer Research
Understanding how proteins are kept under control
Cancer develops when a cell becomes abnormal and begins to grow and divide out of control. This can occur when mutations change a cell's DNA sequence such that genes regulating growth are disabled. Frequently cancer is caused by changes in the activity of genes that add specific chemical tags onto proteins that scaffold the DNA in cells. The addition of these chemical tags onto the scaffolding around genes regulates which are active and which are inactive. If this control mechanism is lost, the cell does not properly regulate its genes which can drive the cell to grow and divide in an uncontrolled manner resulting in cancer.

Dr Daniel Panne told us “One master regulator that adds these chemical tags to the gene scaffolding is the enzyme CBP/p300. Mutations in CBP/p300 are found in different cancers including prostate, lung, colon, rectum, breast, pancreas, bladder as well as in a number of different lymphomas. In CBP/p300 several parts of the enzyme work together to tightly regulate its activity and to control which genes become active. The goal of this project is to understand how CBP/p300 are regulated to control gene expression and how cancer mutations interfere with its activity. The outcome of this work will possibly allow us to develop ligands with therapeutic applications to help treat patients in the future.”
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